An affordable RM330,000 when first obtained in 2016, says Wan Junaidi on Azam Baki’s share trading controversy

PETALING JAYA: The shares in Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki’s trading account in a public-listed company were not expensive when they were first purchased in 2016, says Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (pic).

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) explained that when the shares were first purchased in 2016, the one million shares was only valued at RM330,000 – approximately priced between 30 sen and 33 sen per share.

“The current share size he is holding at the moment was accumulated over the years. Based on the initial price, it is not an expensive share to acquire,” said Dr Wan Junaidi.

“I believe it is affordable to many of us. And for those who are active stock market traders, it is also normal to gradually increase your shareholding over time, especially when you see the potential,” he said, adding that there is no law or regulations preventing government servants from acquiring shares in public listed companies,” he added.

Wan Junaidi also said that under the Public Officers Regulations Act (Conduct and Discipline) 1993, government servants are only prohibited from trading in futures markets, locally and abroad while those who own shares in public listed companies are required to declare them as assets.

Meanwhile, on demands to place the MACC under Parliament, Dr Wan Junaidi said this was not a simple matter and added that this needs to be looked into carefully.

“In order for the MACC to be effective, it needs to operate independently,” said Dr Wan Junaidi.

“The establishment of the MACC under the MACC Act 2009 (Act 694) ensures the Commission’s independence and this should not be compromised in any way,” he added in a statement on Saturday (Jan 8).

On Wednesday, Azam told a media conference that he had explained to the anti-corruption advisory board that he had given his younger brother permission to use his trading account to acquire shares in the open market sometime in 2015.

Azam had also said he had informed his superiors on the matter back then and his brother had transferred the shares to his own account a year later.

Allegations recently surfaced that Azam owned a substantial number of shares in Gets Global Bhd as well as Excel Force MSC Bhd between 2015 and 2016 when he was the MACC director of investigations.

Azam maintained that he did not commit any wrongdoing.